Owen Kay Garriott Biography
Owen Kay Garriott was an American electrical engineer and NASA astronaut. In 1973, Garriott spent 60 days abroad the Skylab space station during the Skylab 3 mission and 10 days abroad Spacelab-1 on a space shuttle mission in 1973.
After serving in the United States Navy, Garriott was an engineering professor at Stanford University before attending the U.S. Air Force Pilot Training Program and later joining NASA. After his NASA career, he worked for various aerospace companies, consulted on NASA-related committees, taught as an adjunct professor, and conducted research on microbes found in extreme environments.
Owen Garriott Career
Owen K Garriott photo
Garriott served as electronics officer in the United States Navy from 1953 to 1956. From 1961 through 1965 he was an assistant professor, then associate professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University. He conducted research and led graduate studies in ionospheric physics after obtaining his doctorate, and authored or co-authored more than 45 scientific papers, chapters, and one book, principally in areas of the physical sciences.
He completed a one-year U.S. Air Force Pilot Training Program in 1966, receiving qualification as a pilot in jet aircraft.
His second space flight was aboard STS-9 (Spacelab-1) in 1983, a multidisciplinary and international mission of 10 days aboard Space Shuttle Columbia. Over 70 separate experiments in six different disciplines were conducted, primarily to demonstrate the suitability of Spacelab for research in all these areas.
He operated the world’s first amateur radio station from space, W5LFL, which expanded into an important activity on dozens of shuttle flights, Space Station Mir and the International Space Station, with scores of astronauts and cosmonauts participating.
Through his missions, Garriott received a NASA fellowship in the Space Station Project Office. In this position, he worked closely with the external scientific communities and advised the project manager concerning the scientific suitability of the space station design.
Garriott held the distinction of being the NASA astronaut with the earliest-obtained Ph.D. degree, having earned his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1960, two years before Robert A. Parker who obtained his Ph.D. from Caltech in 1962.
Garriott left NASA in June 1986 and consulted for various aerospace companies and served as a member of several NASA and National Research Council Committees.
From January 1988 until May 1993, he was vice president of space programs at Teledyne Brown Engineering. This division, which grew to over 1,000 people, provided payload integration for all Spacelab projects at the Marshall Space Flight Center and had a substantial role in the development of the U.S. laboratory for the International Space Station.
Garriott devoted time to several charitable activities in his hometown, including the Enid Arts and Sciences Foundation of which he was a co-founder in 1992. Later, he accepted a position as an adjunct professor in the Laboratory for Structural Biology at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Later Garriott formed a public philanthropic Garriott Family Foundation to finance the aforementioned adventure travel for himself, his wife and other members of his family.
Owen K Garriott Age
Garriot was 88 years old at the time of his death on April 15, 2019, at his home in Huntsville, Alabama. He was born on November 22, 1930, in Enid, Oklahoma to Owen Garriott, a wholesale oil and gas distributor, and Mary Catherine (Mellick) Garriott. In 1948 he graduated from Enid High school and earned the rank of star Scout since he was a boy scout. In 1953 Owen was awarded a degree for Bachelor of Science in Electrical engineering from the University of Oklahoma. He was also the elected president of the senior class. He later earned Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University in electrical engineering in 1957 and 1960, respectively.
Owen Garriott Wife|Family
In 1952 Garriott married his high school sweetheart Helen Mary née Walker. Together they had four children: Randall O. (born 1955), Robert K. (born 1956), Richard A. (born 1961) a computer programmer and the creator of the Ultima computer game series, and Linda S. (born 1966). They divorced later on and Garriott married Evelyn L. Garriott, who had three kids; Cindy Burcham, Bill Eyestone and Sandra Brooks from her previous relationship. In addition to his wife and children, Garriott left behind 12 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.
Owen Garriott Son Richard
Richard Garriott a video game designer and entrepreneur grew up in a household surrounded by galactic missions, rockets, and NASA experiments, it’s no surprise that he formed an early and everlasting love of the cosmos. His father, NASA astronaut Owen Garriott, was one of the first six Scientist-Astronauts chosen to study aboard Skylab. During this mission, he spent approximately 60 days in space – a world record – and conducted extensive experimental studies of our sun and Earth resources.
Thirty-five years later, it was his father’s missions that motivated Richard Garriott to follow in his footsteps, traveling to space on his own dime with Space Adventures, becoming the first second-generation American in space and only the sixth private space explorer in history.
In 2008, Richard launched aboard Soyuz TMA-13 to the International Space Station. High above the Earth, he saw the world the way his father had and captured images of the same views. One can only imagine the cosmic bond formed from one generation to the next after seeing the world from the same perspective, just decades apart. Garriott said, “This mission to the ISS fulfilled a lifelong dream to experience spaceflight as my father first did 35 years ago; it’s an honor to be the first American to follow a parent into space.”
Richard also participated in a number of experiments and educational efforts ranging from communicating with students from the Challenger Center for Space Science Education to working with The Nature Conservancy to photograph several ecologically significant places on Earth. The photographs were compared to shots taken by his father to document how the Earth has changed in one generation.
“While in space, I had the opportunity to conduct scientific experiments and environmental research, but what was most rewarding was speaking to students. Growing up in an astronaut family, I firmly believed that every person could go to space, and now I have. I took this opportunity to inspire them with my adventure and let them know they can achieve their wildest dreams as well with hard work and perseverance.”Richard said.
Owen Garriott Obituary
Owen Garriott photo
Dr. Owen K. Garriott, 88, of Huntsville, AL passed away on Monday, April 15, 2019, at Huntsville Hospital. Born in Enid, OK on November 22, 1930, Dr. Garriott graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Electrical Engineering, served in the US Navy and then continued earning his Masters and Ph.D. from Stanford University.
He taught at Stanford until being selected in the first group of scientist-astronauts in 1965. Owen spent 59 days aboard the Skylab Space Station in 1973 during the Skylab II mission and 10 days aboard Spacelab I on a Space Shuttle mission in 1983.
Owen left behind his wife, Evelyn L. Garriott; children, Randall Garriott (Kathy) of Walhalla, SC, Robert Garriott (Marcy) of Austin, TX, Richard Garriott de Cayeux (Laetitia) of New York City, and Linda Garriott (Jeff Stamp) of Dripping Springs, TX;
Also step-children, Cindy Burcham (Steve) of Huntsville, AL, Bill Eyestone (Heather) of St. Augustine, FL, and Sandra Brooks (Stephen) of Madison, AL; 12 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Owen was an amazing man who will be missed by many. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorials may be made to the US Space and Rocket Center, HudsonAlpha Center for Biotechnology, or Huntsville Botanical Garden. In Enid, OK, memorials may be made to Leonardo’s Discovery Warehouse, where Owen was a co-founder with his deceased wife, Helen Walker Garriott.
Owen Garriott Memorial Service
Garriot’s Memorial service was hosted by The U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, to celebrate the life of NASA astronaut Owen Garriott on the night of April 17, 2019.